Online Articles (147)

Hunters Alert has released many articles in print, but a few have only been available online.  This section will help you find those articles that were only released to the web community.

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Santa Fe - New Mexican - May 2, 2009

Game and Fish can't release an animal only to have it attack someone

Staci Matlock

The debate over what should happen when cougars encounter humans is heating up again.  
After a New Mexico Department of Game and Fish warden darted a female cougar in the backyard of an Eldorado home April 20 and later euthanized it, angry callers and letter writers lambasted the agency for "trigger happy" tactics.

'09 Apr 30

Wake Up Sportsmen!

Written by Hunters Alert
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I find the silence deafening with the Larry Johnson clones and other selfish people who have refused to comment on the worst wildlife bill ever proposed. That bill is A.B.  437 and here are the contents of the bill.

The bill will allow a private organization (501C.3) to receive big game tags with no limit on the number of tags and the tags can be auctioned or raffled off at any price. This bill is intended to bypass the current system of auctioning off governor's tags and the Partnership in Wildlife (PIW) tags.

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How free of politics is science? During a legislative hearing this past Wednesday, the idea of not allowing laymen - in this case the nine members of the Nevada State Wildlife Commission - to have mandatory authority over a "professional biologist" was debated.

The opponents claimed the Wildlife Commission may be tainted by political considerations, implying the director of the Nevada Department of Wildlife (the professional) is somehow above the fray.

Since the director of NDOW is himself a political appointee, the argument is absurd on its face. But it raises a more serious question: How free of bias, of political agendas, is "science?"

'09 Feb 12

Anything But Science

Written by Jim Slinsky
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If one takes the time to look around the country and investigate the myriad of wildlife and fisheries management controversies in all states, one should get deeply concerned.  To the casual and uninformed the heated debates appear to be nothing more than business as usual.  Wildlife resource management always was and always will be, controversial.

However, close examination reveals we may have actually transcended a new era.  You've read the stories.  Ban all trapping in Maine and Minnesota because of a possible incidental take of an endangered Canada lynx.  Ban all bear hunting in New Jersey because the Governor hates hunting.  Ban all bear hunting in Florida because Florida bear are a newly discovered subspecies.  Stop all trout stocking in California because trout are predators and may impact the frog population.  Poison out rainbow and brown trout because they are invasive species.  Kill the deer in New York, Pennsylvania, Ohio, West Virginia, Michigan, Wisconsin and Missouri because they are destroying forest regeneration.  (I may have missed a few states)  State and federal experts are always on hand to tell us predators have no impact on wildlife populations.  Really?  The national press and their continuous condemnation of Governor Sarah Palin of Alaska for culling their wolves fill the news doldrums.  In New York coyote season actually closes so coyotes can give birth and raise their young.  Huh?

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The old timers turned out in force for the November Wildlife Commission meeting in Las Vegas. The reason for their appearance was a proposal by Assemblyman Jerry Claborn. Assemblyman Claborn, an avid deer hunter, has been attempting to do something about predators for over ten years. He has been very successful in the past and now wants to introduce a bill in the 2009 Legislative session.
He proposed if a hunter or trapper had their proper license and a mountain lion tag, then shot or snared a lion and surrendered the hide and skull to NDOW, the individual would receive $500. This is not to be confused with a bounty as it is contract hunting which will be defined.
Currently, Nevada Department of Wildlife, NDOW, has no quota on mountain lions. In reality, every lion in the state of Nevada could legally be killed. Because of the sheer nature of the mountain lion, this would be totally impossible.
NDOW has in place an objective harvest on mountain lions. This objective harvest was implemented in 1976 and has never been achieved since its inception. From 2002 till 2006, the objective harvest was 349 lions. During this six year period, the average was 160 lions killed. The 189 lions that were not removed killed 9828 deer, calves or similar sized animals a year. This figure is based on Wildlife Services which does the predator control work for NDOW.
Assemblyman Claborn provided proof that contract hunting worked extremely well in New Mexico. In 2001, the statewide population of Desert bighorn sheep had plummeted to 170 animals. It was so bad that New Mexico listed the Desert bighorn sheep as a state endangered species. By implementing contract hunting, the sheep increased to 400 in 2007 and they removed them from the endangered listing.
Assemblyman Claborn emphasized "This is not a bounty". A bounty has no limits or quotas. With contract hunting, once the objective harvest of lions has been achieved, the contract becomes null and void and no more money will be available. The money paid out to contract hunting will come from the $3.00 predator fee collected when hunters apply for big game tags.
After Assemblyman Claborn's proposal was heard, the sportsmen in attendance voiced their opinions. There were many and some of their comments are listed below.
Lee Dane, 72, of Indian Springs gave many examples of cougar kills. In addition, he cited the Three- Bar Study which was done in Arizona. The Three- Bar is a 602 acre enclosure. Data revealed that the fawn to doe ratios within the enclosure were 100 fawns per 100 does while outside the area the ratio was 18 fawns per 100 does, the only difference being that there were no predators inside the enclosure.
Pat Laughlin felt so strongly about the issue that he drove all the way from Elko. He said that because of predation, the fawns are not making it to the winter area. In addition, he felt the shooting of does is not science based. He also said you can do something about predators.
Bud Sonnentag, 65, drove from Gabbs and stated that he wholeheartedly recommended Jerry Claborn's proposal. His proposal is merely providing a way to achieve the objective harvest which the biologists and Wildlife Commissioners have agreed to. He also stated that the "decline of our deer should never have reached such a low point and have remained there for so many years. The people responsible for this were the leadership in the Nevada Department of Wildlife and many former Wildlife Commissioners."
Tom Cassinelli stated that he thought the coyote problem was worse than the lions. He said the state is producing more lions than are being harvested and has seen many dead rams in the Santa Rosa Mountains because of lions.
Hal Shrum, 70, testified that in 1960 deer were everywhere. He said it's not the drought, it's not the fires. He blamed the loss of deer on the mismanagement by NDOW.
Gene Perry, 70, of Las Vegas stated that there was a loss of confidence by the public on fish and game.
Ron Sweet, 70, of Las Vegas, a lifetime Nevadan began hunting deer in 1954 in the Pioche area and in the late ‘60s, hunted Jack Creek area in Elko County. He hunted there for 13 years and deer were plentiful. He said he has seen a dozen big bucks in a bunch and migrations of deer when it was hard to count their numbers. He believed that when the bounty was removed on mountain lions, it was the beginning of the deer decline.
Dave Jordan, 57, of Panaca left his cow elk hunt to come to Las Vegas to testify. Recently he had seen one cow elk and two deer fawns that had been killed by predators. He said in Iron County, Utah there is a $20 bounty on coyotes.
Somer Hollingsworth, a resident of southern Nevada for 55 years, stated whenever the subject of hunting comes up, it seems to be consensus that NDOW is not a user friendly agency and hasn't been for years. It seemed to him that the Wildlife Commissioners were appointed based on some type of political agenda and not because of any wildlife knowledge. He stated that one of his close friends is an advisor to the current governor and he assures me the new Wildlife Commissioners have their marching orders to bring back our deer. He also stated the new Wildlife Commissioners did not get their appointments because of any political agenda. They were appointed because of their wildlife knowledge and a real concern to save our deer for future Nevada hunters.
A letter was sent to Assemblyman Claborn to be read into the record. Unfortunately, Claborn did not receive it in time. The letter states:
Dear Sirs,
It is time for a change. It is time to quit selling a bunch of tags for deer that aren't there anymore. I am getting old but still remember when there were lots of deer. Something needs to control the coyotes and mountain lions. The numbers are down for the deer harvest. Hunters need your help. We have been waiting for some positive action. We also need to control these wilderness areas. I am physically handicapped and those areas shut me out.
Thank you. Do it for my grandchildren!
Albert Stewart, Henderson, Nevada
As usual, as with all government meetings, there is always a "left fielder", a person who is not in step with the majority or a person who really doesn't get it. This person was Brandon Fordin, an Elko County Advisory Board representative. He stated that there were no lions left in Elko County. He provided no documentation regarding his declaration.
After public comment, Wildlife Commission Chairman Gerald A. Lent recommended that Assemblyman Jerry Claborn's proposal be sent to the Wildlife Commission Legislative Committee for review. The public outcry was for predator control. NDOW has proven that they are not going to be proactive on predator control. If predator numbers are to be reduced, it will be up to the sportsmen and ranchers. To ensure that it is done, it will have to be enacted into law as NDOW has overlooked this part of game management for decades. This is the major reason why our deer numbers are so low and ranchers continue to lose stock to lions and coyotes. NDOW is not going to support Assemblyman Jerry Claborn's bill so it will require ranchers and sportsmen working together to see this bill is enacted into law.

Cecil Fredi is president of HUNTER'S ALERT and has been a resident of Las Vegas for 66 years. For more information about Nevada wildlife issues, log on to www.huntersalert.org

Reprinted from The Nevada Rancher, January, 2009
By Cecil Fredi

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I have attached a resolution from the state of Oklahoma. It is another state which has had it with the US Fish & Wildlife Service. (US F&WS) They realize how the feds are controlling all state fish and game agencies. For years, the antis have been extorting US F&WS. Here are the basics. The antis can't stand the fact that sportsmen have millions of dollars derived from Pittman-Robertson and Dingle-Johnson funds. They have put the pressure on the US F& WS to fund many non-game projects such as Teaming with Wildlife, Conservation and Reinvestment Act, and currently, State Wildlife Grants. They have put it to the feds like this, If you don't fund non-game (with sportsmen's money) we will find some of these species close to being endangered and take you to court. Extortion? Of course, for them it is easier to give away sportsmen's money than to fight legal battles in court. In addition to funding, they want big predators, bears, lions and wolves protected. This will eliminate the need for hunting as the predators will eliminate most of the game. This is what is happening in Nevada with our mule deer. To prove this, why do you think the last three directors refused to do anything about mountain lions? Why do you think Ken Mayer, along with NDOW is fighting Jerry Claborn's proposal to kill more lions? For more proof, how many non-game people were employed in NDOW ten years ago and how many are there today? If you guys want to make a difference and take back NDOW, you must make hunting and fishing state rights. This must be done without the fear of the US F& WS withholding funds because they agreed to the anti-hunting organizations' demands. Here is your chance to make a real difference.

 

Read the Resolution - PDF 12 kB

'08 Dec 09

Long Overdue

Written by Hunters Alert
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It is long overdue for NDOW to do something about the loss of our deer. The following is an analogy that fits NDOW perfectly:  "The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results."  NDOW continually does nothing and expects different results.
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You hear the new breed of today's mountain lion hunter's in Nevada whining that there are no lions left to catch and they need a good snow cover to find a track.  This is a poor hunter's excuse as to why they cannot catch a lion.  No snow and no tracks.

In the days of old, before snow machines, 4-wheelers, and two-way radios, there were men like Wiley Carroll who took to the Nevada mountains with his horse, dogs, and a warm coat.  I happen to know this because I was there.

Wiley Carroll started out his mountain lion hunting career along the

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In past issues of the HUNTER'S ALERT newsletter, it was stated many times that being politically correct is hurting hunting in our state. Some examples of this: Former Wildlife Commissioners like Bill Bradley, John Moran, Clint Bentley, Tommy Ford and others went along with whatever NDOW wanted as long as it was politically correct. Being politically correct meant they did not kill one species such as mountain lion to enhance another such as deer.

The following is a 2007 winning entry from an annual contest at Texas A & M on the term Political Correctness. The winner wrote:

"Political Correctness is a doctrine, fostered by a delusional, illogical minority, and rabidly promoted by an unscrupulous mainstream media, which holds forth the proposition that it is entirely possible to pick up a turd by the clean end."

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Reprinted in The Nevada Rancher, October 2008

At the Nevada Wildlife Commission meeting in Eureka held on August 15 and 16, there were two very important issues. Fortunately, one of them never made the agenda as it was one of the slimiest back door moves ever attempted.

Clint Bentley was chairman of the Wildlife Commission and he stated that he would not seek re-appointment to the Commission. Translated, it meant he stood no chance of being re-appointed. As Chairman of the Wildlife Commission, he appointed himself to six committees and chairman of five of these committees. (dictator?)

At his last meeting on June 28, he set some of the agenda for the Eureka meeting. Two committees were scheduled to meet at the Eureka meeting. They were the Tag Committee and the Wildlife Damage Committee, also referred to as the Predator Committee which Clint Bentley chairs. Because four of the nine Wildlife Commissioners were newly appointed, Nevada Department of Wildlife (NDOW) Director Ken Mayer chose to cancel the Tag Committee but not the Predator Committee. Now here is where it gets dirty.

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